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Update to Fondiest BB Shell Thread Problem(21 posts)

Update to Fondiest BB Shell Thread Problemdirthead
Jun 27, 2003 9:22 AM
This is an update to my post of a couple days ago, where I was having trouble with the BB shell threads on my new Fondiest Carb Level frame.

Yesterday, I decided to drive 150 miles to the nearest shop with the ability to chase Italian BB threads and let them have a look. They chased the threads and said it looked to them like the drive side threads were not square to the BB shell, the cause being the cutterhead not being squared properly when the BB shell was originally threaded by Fondriest.

The wrench there also said the even though the drive side threads were ok, that because of the misalignment, I would have trouble getting a BB in.

Today, my new BB arrived (Ultegra this time, because it is a little beefier and has cartridge bearings compared to Dura-ace) and I tried to install. The drive side would screw in by hand quite easily. The non driveside cup would screw in by hand, if the rest of the bottom bracket was not installed. With the drive side installed (which included the bottome bracket) the left cup would only screw in to the point where the spindle makes contact with the inner race, and it gets extremely tight at that point. The spindle would not freely turn either. With the non drive cup take out, you could see that the spindle is not centered coming out of the BB shell.

So I called Will at Fondriest-USA and explained the problem. He told me to return the frame and he would send a new one, without hesitation. I am very impressed with Will and Fondriest!!

I do have a tap ordered from A VAR italian tap head for $150 and handle for $27. This might sound expensive for hopefully just one use, but when you add all the expenses from my trip yesterday (300 miles of gas, lunch, wife spending $100 in Old Navy, $25 to shop for chasing threads, $50 destroyed Dura-ace BB) $200 for a tap and handle is quite a bargain. And even though it appears my problem was originally caused by the misalignment of the threads in the BB shell, and not the fact that I did not chase the threads to begin with, Will stated that generally if the threads aren't chased prior to assembly they do not accept warranty claims such as this. So the $200 is a good insurance policy.
re: Update to Fondiest BB Shell Thread ProblemYe Olde Balde One
Jun 27, 2003 10:00 AM
The BB shell should have been chased at the factory prior to shipment, or by the Importer.

Problems like this are caused by factories thinking that the distortion from welding the shell will be fixed before the frame is built by chasing the threads, but then they don't do it themselves. Makes you wonder if they checked the frame was straight (how could they without facing the BB shell?). P4 should have checked this as well, especially as they are the shop, in that they sell consumer direct.

I wouldn't be impressed with either, you spent a lot of money just to send a frame back, and then to buy tools to do a job on a new frame that the shop (in this case P4) should do to make the frame useable. That cost to you is part of the cost of the frame.....

Good Point!dirthead
Jun 27, 2003 10:07 AM
You are right, P4 should have some type of system in place to at least check or chase the threads before sending out frames. I ask Will about that today, and he said they do not have the ability to chase threads there.

I didn't really think about it the way you described, but since they are selling directly to the end user, the frame should be ready to build when it arrives, there shouldn't be a need to do any prep work like chasing threads! All the prep work should be done before they ship the frame. that as it may. I feel good that at least they are going to replace the frame, and not stick me with a $1300 paper weight. I seem to trade frames every year or so, so I will get more use out of the tap, or I might send it back.
Good Point!Ye Olde Balde One
Jun 27, 2003 1:14 PM
P4 shouldn't be selling frames then. Isn't there a law about merchandise being in a useable condition when sold unless it's otherwise noted? Not chasing the threads makes a frame unusable, you have to have access to expensive and special know how to use them.

All P4 has to do is buy a tool kit. You'd think they would have one, they also offer complete bikes don't they?

A side question:
Your going to send a tap back to the people you bought it from after using it? Is that fair?

Good Point!dirthead
Jun 27, 2003 6:39 PM
No, I would send it back unused, get a refund, then drive back to the shop in Austin and have the BB chased and faced.
Jun 27, 2003 12:16 PM
Many (most?) imported frames are not prepped when they leave the builder and/or distributor. I think they just assume a bike shop will do it. This kinda sucks when you buy your bike direct and are going to build it up yourself. The frame isn't really finished until it's prepped, IMO.

I went through this with my Itallian-made frame. While I mail-ordered it from a bike shop, it was sent to me directly by the importer (gee, on-line discount frame shops don't stock all the frames they list on their websites?). I called the importer and was told that I needed to have the chasing and facing done myself. No big deal to have my local shop do it, but something I wasn't expecting, anyway.
150 miles to the nearest good shop ?MR_GRUMPY
Jun 27, 2003 10:07 AM
Do you live in Greenland ? Just kidding, but you must live really "out there."
Central Texas! 150 miles to Austin or FT.Worth/Dallas nmdirthead
Jun 27, 2003 10:39 AM
Wow, .....don't you worry about the "good 'ol boys".......nmMR_GRUMPY
Jun 27, 2003 10:46 AM
No, if you leave their goats alone, they leave you alone nmdirthead
Jun 27, 2003 11:22 AM
Goats and Texas....Dave Hickey
Jun 27, 2003 11:35 AM
This if off topic but I'm in the airfreight business and we have a daily conference call where all of our airhubs have to report our daily tonnage. Since we're in airfreight, most of our freight is high value computers, medical supplies, etc...

On Tuesday's call I had, in addition to my normal freight, 3 goats and a pickup truck that we flying on my plane to Puerto Rico. When the moderator called out Dallas I simply replied, "DFW has 70,000lbs plus 3 goats and a pickup". Only in Texas..............
it's the price you pay for an e-economyterry b
Jun 27, 2003 1:40 PM
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. In the olden days, you ordered a frame from your LBS, they got it from Trialtir (or some other distributor,) they prep'd it, built it and you paid $500-1000 over what you could've done it yourself for had there been on line dealers.

Now, you buy it direct, you either invest in the tapping equipment (not!) or you drive it to the LBS and pay them $25 to do it for you. Then you build it and save a bunch of money. That's how I do it anyway, and maore than half the time the shell is in decent enough shape that it doesn't even need to be done. P4 is a distributor, not a builder and they shouldn't have to do anything more than provide you a product at a price that is better than what you could do locally (via retail.)

Like you, there aren't many shops locally that are good at this work, but I get by. I'm saving enough money, and enjoying building them enough that it just makes sense. It's a pain to have to do the hauling you describe, but I'm willing to bet you're still coming out ahead assuming you could have even got that bike from an LBS.
Exactly rightB2
Jun 27, 2003 2:08 PM
If you're not paying for the full meal deal, you don't get the full meal.

I have my LBS do chasing, facing and headsets and they don't seem to have any problem with small orders instead of a full overhaul or total build.

One more option - A lot of "dealers" will install the headset and/or BB prior to shipping if you request it.

Slight correctionB2
Jun 29, 2003 8:08 AM
If you're paying e-commerce prices, that does not give them the right to sell you a defective frame. I'm just saying that chasing and facing is commonly left to the consumer.

chasing the threads would not have helped...C-40
Jun 27, 2003 2:11 PM
From the description, the frame was improperly threaded when it was built, with the right and left side threads misaligned.

Chasing the threads removes burrs and paint overspray and would correct a minor out of round condition, but won't fix a misalignment problem. A tap will just follow the path of the threads that were originally cut.

I agree that Fondriest should take steps to insure that their frames will accept a BB, without the consumer performing additional preparation.
re: Don't forget the Cutting Oil!!!!teoteoteo
Jun 27, 2003 2:49 PM
Make sure you have cutting oil for the job.
Tapping questionPicshooter
Jun 27, 2003 5:05 PM
Being it's an Italian BB, can you start the tap on the drive side and run it all the way through the non drive side?
Jun 28, 2003 4:51 AM
If the frame was originally built this way, with the threads running continuously through the BB shell, then you could run the tap all the way through from one side.

If the threads are tapped from each side to a specific depth, the threads will not be "radially synchronized". In other words, one thread may start at the 12 o'clock position and the other side might start at the 3'oclock position. Running the tap all the way through from one side would create a cross-threaded mess on the the opposite side.
Jun 28, 2003 6:30 AM
"If the threads are tapped from each side to a specific depth, the threads will not be "radially synchronized". In other words, one thread may start at the 12 o'clock position and the other side might start at the 3'oclock position. Running the tap all the way through from one side would create a cross-threaded mess on the the opposite side."

I understand and agree with your comments. I was once told by a former rep that older Italian frames were tapped going in one side and out the other and thats why the drive side is LH threaded. Thats what I based my comments on and the next time I overhaul my Marinoni BB I will let you know.
Jun 28, 2003 12:43 PM
If the BB were threaded all the way through, it would have right hand threads on both sides. It would work no differently than a common nut and bolt. A nut it threaded all the way through from one side, but obviously does not have a LH and a RH side. A RH threaded bolt can be threaded in from either side of a nut. Italian BBs do not have LH threads on the drive side, like english models. They are RH threaded on both sides. LH threads must be cut with an entirely different tap the rotates in the opposite direction during the cutting process. As a former machinist I know.

If a BB was threaded all the way through, it would be obvious, because the threads would be continuous from one side to the other. I beleive the the biggest reason for not doing this is to preserve strength in the BB shell. The threads are cut fairly deep and substantially reduce the thickness of the shell at the root of the thread. Tapping this length of thread can also be difficult. If you read up on tapping, you will find that cutting more than 10-15 turns deep can get challenging.
wrong...yes I am.Picshooter
Jun 28, 2003 4:12 PM
What I meant to imply was that "Italian threads" were rh on both sides and running a tap through from the drive side and through the non drive side.